NWFSC Culinary Students Host Baking Showcase

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By Doug Stauffer

What happens when you are invited to eat pastries until you drop or pop with only one piece of advice from the chef: “Pace yourself”? Well, I can tell you that I have never experienced anything quite like this. Many of us arrived at the Raider Café at NWFSC not knowing what to expect. However, expectations were met and exceeded with belt buckles bursting.
In August, Chef Layne Eggers and Chef Tim Yeabower showcased the talent of their culinary students. They instructed and helped seven students prepare 80 interactive desserts including tarts, cakes, mousses, tiramisu and bananas foster, on 21 eight-foot tables. Yes, that is 168 feet of gastronomic delight.

The NWFSC Culinary Arts Management students’ 12-week-long baking and pastry class showcased various sweets and pastries for their final exam. Over 200 guests attended the event, from President Devin Stephenson to the fire department class and community members.

There also were two butcher block bread tables with focaccia, challah, French baguettes, loaf breads and dinner rolls on display with various flavored whipped butter spreads. Four pastry display tables, 40 feet long, filled with delicious cupcakes, cheesecakes and German chocolate cakes. There were so many different and tasty items from which to choose, and the only problem was understanding the chef’s advice on keeping the right pace. What pace?

The guests enjoyed all the delicious items on the displays while the students reportedly received A’s on their final exams. The culinary management program at NWFSC fills a much-needed support element for the Emerald Coast. It prepares students for employment in the culinary and restaurant industry.

Students gain employable skills and knowledge through classroom instruction and culinary lab experience. Careers include sous chef, line cook, culinary manager, baking and pastry cook, personal chef and more.

Seagrass Restaurant at NWFSC is designed to provide NWFSC Culinary and Hospitality Management students with a hands-on learning environment while showcasing their talents to the community. Well done, and kudos to the students, the administration and the community that came in FULL support. No pun intended.